ASIA/CHINA - New churches to bear witness to Christ in the new Churches in neighborhoods and Suburbs of Chinese metropolises

Tuesday, 9 January 2024 mission   evangelization   local churches   laity  

Beijing (Agenzia Fides) – The new church dedicated to St. John, just inaugurated in Beijing, well represents the concern with which Chinese Catholic communities work to bear witness to Jesus even in the heart of the new urban districts that have recently emerged in macro-urban areas. The new church is located in Beijing's largest economic-technological development area, known as BEDA or Beijing E-Town (Beijing Yizhuang), in the fifth Southern Ring Road of the Chinese capital. The new church was inaugurated on December 30 by Bishop Joseph Li Shan. Twenty priests, dozens of religious sisters and over 300 lay people also took part in the consecration. The bishop emphasized that the new church is located in the heart of Beijing's new development zone, a 225 square kilometer area intended for a resident population of 290,000 people, primarily young people familiar with digital networks, entrepreneurs, professionals and people who work in intellectual professions. Bishop Li Shan urged everyone to imitate the patron saint of the new church and become "beloved apostles of Jesus", giving to all the witness of Christ himself and serving the entire community with words and deeds of the Gospel. On the solemnity of Mary Mother of God, on which the Catholic Church also celebrates World Peace Day, Anthony Dang Mingyan, Bishop of the Diocese of Xi'An, consecrated a new church in Guanshan (on the site of an old church with a long history) in the poorest area of the diocese. Thirty-three priests, twenty nuns and numerous lay people from the surrounding parishes and communities took part in the consecration. Some of them accompanied the consecration ceremony with choirs and orchestral music. The priest also thanked all those who contributed financially to the reconstruction of the Lord's House. With the beginning of 2024, the Tangshan community in Hebei Province opened a special pastoral “Year of Evangelization”. The priests of the eight deaneries jointly presented a missionary pastoral plan, presented at the opening Mass of the new "Year of Evangelization", inviting all the baptized to "proclaim the Gospel of Christ together". The lay members of the community agreed to cooperate with their ordinary and daily actions in the works that "the Holy Trinity wants to do in the Year of Evangelization." The priests also committed themselves to showing everyone the horizon of mission through preaching and priestly work. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 9/4/2024)